Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jun 26, 2013 01:53 AM

best fresh fish?

I'm going to be in town this sat. night, staying SOMA area, love fun/modern molecular cooking, so thought AQ would be perfect, but alas, they are full :(

we do have dietary issues (don't eat meat or shellfish) but love good fresh fish. any places I should look at? (we do have a car)


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I too am wondering the same thing. I think that Kokkari Estiatoria gets good press. Have you checked it out yet?

    1. Been a while since I've been there, but I really like Waterbar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dunstable

        Waterbar has excellent atmosphere - the food is not particularly a stand out for SF but it is right on the water.

        1. re: goldangl95

          I think the food at Waterbar is quite good, but it's one of those cases where you have to consider the context of the place. It has great views and a great location, but you will be paying for it. Entrees tend to be in the mid to high $30s and while way more innovative than the food that you would find at the old-school seafood places, the restaurant will still be careful to have a menu that is reasonably accessible (read: not that far from mainstream) to anyone in the crowd that this kind of place may attract. If you want competently done, accessible seafood at a premium-priced location, Waterbar is not a bad choice. And the outdoor patio is really nice in good weather, provided that you can get a seat of course. It's one of those "it is what it is" places and you would have to figure out whether it is what you're looking for.

      2. There is a new seafood restaurant in the Exploritorium called Sea Glass that would be excellent atmosphere on the waterfront and initial reviews are decent.

        There have been good reports on Skool (Japanese).

        I used to recommend Bar Crudo but lately they have been slipping.

        8 Replies
        1. re: goldangl95

          I used to recommend Bar Crudo but lately they have been slipping.


          Really? I was just about to recommend Bar Crudo.

          I was just there about a month or so ago and rather enjoyed their menu selection, but it was my first time so I don't really have a point of reference.

          Can you expound upon what has slipped in recent times?

          1. re: ipsedixit

            They have featured the same sort of mains for 5 years and the same types of fish for the samplers forever.

            Their combos for flavors on the samplers are more clumsy than they used to be. A lot less quite revelation and much more here is a raw fish with spicy mayonnaise on top (an exaggeration but still).

            The last time I went was a couple months back - I took a friend from out of town - and we both shrugged at the end of the meal. I used to be so excited when I went there at what the new combo flavors would be.

            Grayelf I believe also had a mediocre experience recently. I'm having trouble finding the post.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I like the menus at both Bar Crudo and Skool.

                I can get a reservation at Bar Crudo. does Skool take reservations?

                1. re: gettrich

                  They do - if you can't get in on open table try calling.

                  In context, the fact that Bar Crudo is slipping or people are not in a rush to go back just means I'm hesitant to enthusiastically recommend it anymore, but it still is an interesting concept and the food should at least be acceptable to good depending on tastes/expectations.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Hmm, that's not really a negative review by Grayelf.

                  I will say that our lobster was a bit on the bland side, but the crudo plate we had was very good.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    In elf, good not great means not worth the candle (or in the case of Bar Crudo, the money). I expect better from a place that positions itself the way BC has. I didn't get them so I wouldn't rush back, if I would return at all. But you don't know till you try. I'd definitely go back to Skool but bear in mind we didn't have anything cooked there, so if people are looking for hot sea creatures, I can't vouch for same at Skool. And of course in both cases, we're dealing with a sample size of one visit.

                3. re: goldangl95

                  Glad to hear my reaction confirmed. I went once several years ago and was blown away. Went last year, though, and it really did not seem as good. I thought maybe it was just an off night, but simply have not felt like trying it again since then.

            1. Yuet Lee will have fresh fish, in the tank.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ML8000

                If you are going to include Yuet Lee because of the live seafood tanks, then there are many many more Cantonese places eligible in this category. ;-)

              2. You might call Atelier Crenn and see if they could accommodate your preferences. That's the most "molecular" place in town.